Setting up your own market
If you're interested in setting up a market or a car boot sale in Belfast you need a licence from the council.
We own the historic rights to operate markets in the city including those held on private property or indoors. It is under these rights that we run the very successful
However, we're keen to encourage other organisations and individuals to run their own markets in Belfast.
We believe that well-planned markets have the potential to contribute positively to the economic, social and cultural life of the city and its neighbourhoods.
Before filling in an application form, please read our Markets Rights Policy, which explains the full terms of our markets licensing, and our frequently asked questions.
Any market needs careful planning. This checklist will give you some idea of the things you need to consider to ensure that your market is run safely and successfully:
- Do you have agreement from the owner of the land or building where the market will take place?
- Do you, or the property or land owner where you plan to hold your market, have public liability insurance?
- In the case of a large or commercial market, have you consulted with the relevant statutory agencies, local retailers and local residents (if any) about your plans?
- If there is going to be entertainment at the market, do you have an entertainment licence?
- If there are plans to sell food, are the stall holders registered as a food business with the council?
- How will you make sure that counterfeit or stolen goods are not sold at your market (as this will be your responsibility as an operator)?
- Do you need an environmental management plan?
- Particularly for commercial markets, do you have a business plan?
We have two application forms and you need to choose one based on the type of market that you are planning. The forms include guidance notes.
Unless you are a charitable organisation, you must include a fee with your application. This is currently £50 for a one-off market licence or £100 for a multiple markets licence.
What happens next?
- Check details: we will check the details of your application. We may contact you to confirm these details and you may be required to provide us with additional evidence. Please note that the application process may take up to four months.
- City Growth and Regeneration Committee decision: once we are happy that you have provided sufficient information, your application will be presented to our City Growth and Regeneration Committee for consideration. For smaller and charitable markets, the decision may be taken by a council officer instead.
- Council decision: once the City Growth and Regeneration Committee makes a decision about an application, it will then go to a full council meeting for approval (meetings usually take place on the first Monday of each month, except July).
If the application is granted, a licence will be issued to you and the market can become operational. If it is refused, you will be advised of the decision in writing. There is no appeals process regarding this decision.
Our Markets Rights Policy establishes how we share markets rights with others in the city.